South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, Canada, USA
June 15th, 1897
Near New Zealand
My Beloved Angee,
I wrote from Hobart on the 12th and I hope you will now receive a letter from me once a week or by every mail which I know will be acceptable to you as it is also to myself to get one from you – we expect to arrive at Wellington on Thursday morning the 17th and I shall no doubt get some letters from home then as those you would have posted for the first and second weeks after my departure will have been delivered as the mail goes across America to N.Z. in much less time than we have taken to come.
It was a lovely day at Hobart last Saturday and most refreshing for us all to walk on terra firma once more if only for a few hours – I had a busy time in calling upon the leading merchants for all the houses I am representing and had a kind greeting from some who remembered my previous visit. I feel encouraged and am calling there on my way back to Australia from N. Zealand expect to do some business. Fine weather is continued to us in the mercy and goodness of God – I certainly have never before had such a fine voyage and except the two days bad weather we have really had smooth water all the way from Plymouth to New Zealand – the Captain says he has never had such a voyage in his life. The scenery at Hobart was exceedingly grand – bright sunshine – a little frost the morning we landed and therefore rather cold – the tops of the mountains all around covered with snow. The passengers were all delighted with the place and most of them returned to the ship with beautiful flowers they had gathered and bought. I had said goodbye to the Naylors before leaving the ship but met them again at the Hotel where they purposed staying for a few days before going on to Melbourne where the son is living. I dined with them and during the dinner dear Mrs Naylor shewed me a letter from the son awaiting their arrival at Hobart addressed to Dr Naylor – she could not say much but her tears were eloquent enough. The trial was one they knew must soon meet them as he has been ill for 4 or 5 years and she had as a wise woman had all their affairs settled up before leaving and most of the property given to her so that will save them a lot of worry and expense.
She is very much like your dear mother only dark instead of fair, but in conversation and ways greatly resembling her. They may probably settle now in Australia or N. Zealand. We steamed out of the harbour again punctually at the hour appointed 3.30pm. The gentleman who marries Miss Thompson found us at Hobart, she was rather expecting to have been married there but not having been in very good health for 2 or 3 weeks the Dr. of the ship strongly advised deferring it until they reached Christchurch which they decided to do. He seems a gentlemanly person and I have had some nice conversation with him. On Lord's day morning after breakfast the Captain asked me if I would like to have a service again in the evening – I said yes. He would not therefore have any in the morning. While we were dining in the evening I asked the chief officer sitting near me the name of the gentleman intending to marry Miss Thompson and the moment I heard it I seemed to have some remembrance of the name but where I could not think – it kept on however working in my mind and I felt certain the name had come across me at some time. After about an hour and just before going to the meeting my memory yielded up the secret. On my first visit to N. Zealand 10 or 11 years ago Mr Stone gave me a card of introduction to a gentleman of that name residing near Christchurch who owned a very large sheep farm – I well remember calling at his house and leaving the card – Mr Studholme not being at home. I had heard on board that Miss Thompson's intended was engaged in a similar pursuit and thought at once that he may be a son of this gentleman. Singularly enough I found that it was so. Mr Studholme and Miss Thompson both came to the gospel and being there in good time I stepped aside and asked him if he knew a gentleman called Mr Thomas Stone – he quickly replied he is dead – yes I know him very well he and my father are cousins – so I told him that on my recent visit I had called at his father's house leaving card of introduction to him from my friend Mr. Stone. The son has now given me a letter to his father. Was it not a singular circumstance that I should remember the name after so many years. Among the first saloon passengers there is a Dr and his wife called Blake-Campbell residing at Birkenhead – he is an Irish gentleman – she the daughter of a wealthy merchant in Glasgow called Stuart – Mrs C. is a very superior lady and a Roman Catholic – her brother too a very handsome young fellow accompanies them for a trip around the world in this steamer. He is 22 and among the passengers and their sports he has been the leader – he is a thorough gentleman and a sober man but his brother-in-law is a fearful drunkard and has been a regular corrupter – he came once to the gospel and after hearing me talked in the most blasphemous way of the Lord Jesus – so much so that I rose from the seat I was occupying alone on the deck and refused to listen to his blasphemy – he has since then done all in his power to hinder people from attending the meeting – his wife has continued however and is always ready for a chat altho' full of Romanish doctrine. Last Sunday night he gave away several bottles of whisky – one to the chief cook who became maddened with it and raised his hand to strike the Captain who at once ordered him to be arrested and put in irons. When the drink had gone out of his head by the next day the poor fellow was broken hearted and could not believe that he had acted in such a way. He is now in the ship's prison and will be handed over to the authorities on arrival at port. He has borne an excellent character and has a wife and 6 children in London – at the request of nearly all the passengers Mr Stuart and I went to the Captain's cabin this afternoon to plead for mercy for the poor fellow and we are hopeful the captain may forgive him under the circumstances. Dr C. is really the man who should be punished and he has been made to feel thoroughly ashamed of himself. The Captain has rebuked him pretty sharply. To my surprise he came to me yesterday acknowledging the unworthy part he had been acting and asked what he could do to save himself from drink and drunkenness and I was thankful for the opportunity of having some plain talk with him. I am told that his drink bill has amounted to about £9 weekly. So you may judge what he has been doing. Mrs Campbell is consumptive and has lost one lung entirely and was ordered away very peremptorily for this trip to endeavour to arrest the further progress of the disease – she does not look consumptive. My dear young German friend was laughed at for coming to read the Bible with me but he was more than a match for Dr Campbell and told him before many others that he was not ashamed of Jesus and that he loved to read His Word.
I do not remember ever to have seen such opposition to anything that was of God from many, but in spite of it the saloon was generally well filled – the Captains always present and I doubt not much blessing has been received. I have been greatly refreshed too in my own soul.
At Hobart I enquired of one of the merchants if he had heard anything of Mr Arundel lately – he read me a letter just received saying that he intended leaving London last Saturday the 12th for New Zealand via America and the Pacific, so I may meet him again.
We are within a few hours of the sight of N. Zealand and our fine weather continues with us – indeed it is quite warm today and the sea quite smooth. The newspapers of May 6 were brought on board at Hobart where the sad tidings of that fearful fire in Paris first reached us – what an appalling calamity and it is surely the voice of God to all Europe especially.
Our hearts were made glad to hear this morning that our Captain had listened to our appeal for mercy on the poor cook and had forgiven him – his prison door was opened and he was allowed to return to his work and will continue to fill his post on the ship during the rest of the voyage back to England. We have thanked God and the Captain for this. Dr. C. has been sober since Monday morning and I hope he may learn his lesson out of it – he came to me this morning and said he hoped I would talk to the cook a bit – I never saw such a turning of the tables on board ship in my life – the enemies of the truth have been thoroughly routed and made ashamed – my German friend gave me his photo y'day which I enclose.
Wellington, N.Z. June 20th 1887. Lord's day.
My Beloved Angee,
We completed our long voyage on Thursday last the 17th in the goodness and mercy of God and it is good to acknowledge Him in all our ways. I walked to the P.O. as soon as we came alongside the wharf expecting some letters from home, but none had yet arrived. The next day however brought a good batch and two from you among them which filled my heart with thanksgiving – it was the first tidings I had received from you since May 1st at Plymouth – very glad to hear that all went off so happily at Wolverhampton and that you sent me the interesting letters of our dear children – God be praised for all His Love and goodness to them.
The Government of N.Z. are rather hard upon all travellers stepping ashore their shores – the Customs House authorities demanded payment of a tax of £50 before they would give up my samples. I spent some time appealing against it to various authorities but no discretionary power was given them to adjust it so that I had no alternative but to pay the sum demanded. I was thankful there were four firms to bear the burden instead of all falling on P.F.'s shoulders. I have very comfortable quarters at the Hotel and a private sitting room for my samples. On Friday I called upon most of the merchants – some with discouraging reports – others very encouraging and this outweighed the other so that I was kept on the crest of the wave. The next day, y'day one of the traders called and gave a nice order for P.F.'s goods so that I have one fish in the basket. Monday and Tuesday are holidays and the preparations for rejoicing at the Record Reign of the Queen are on a great scale in this neighbourhood – I found Mr John Lowe on Friday morning who was surprised and glad to see me – with a Miss Cantle who now lives here but was residing in Auckland on my last visit – I went out to Mr Lowes house to tea y'day evening – he lives about 7 miles in the country, near a railway station where he came to meet us. There are very few breaking bread here but we had a very happy morning and a good time in reading the Scriptures this afternoon – Mr & Mrs Lowe drive in and generally bring their lunch and eat at the room also another brother living at a distance does the same – Mrs Lowe and Miss Cantle returned with me to dinner and liked my cosy little sitting room with a nice fire very much – the dear children's likenesses are all spread out on a mantle piece also my beloved's and my young German friend in his uniform – I wish I had the boys and their wives too. After dinner we retired to my sitting room again and had a nice cup of tea brought to us – then the two ladies left me so that I might get a little rest before the afternoon meeting but the time did not admit of it – however as there is no meeting this evening I shall have it quiet enough which I am thankful for.
I was glad to hear that you had gone near the moor for a little change and had taken Mrs Britton with you – very glad too to hear that dear Eliza was feeling so much better and do hope it may be the means of imparting fresh strength to her body so that she might shake off the morbid condition she has suffered so much from lately – hope you will all have enjoyed it very much – was glad to hear that Harry Shapland was better – please give Mr. S. my very kind love and thanks for his remembrance of me. I do trust that Henry too may learn how to feed the saints of God in their low estate and cease to worry and distress them as he has certainly been doing - I heard from Mrs Lowe today that Mr Crimes of Rotherham has passed away and that when J.B.S. heard of it he threw up his hands and expired soon after – well they are beyond the reach of care now and it is a comfort to look forward to that day when all the ransomed host so scattered now will with adoring hearts behold His glory who is worthy of homage and of praise worthy by all to be adored.
The "Kiakoura" remains here until tomorrow when she goes to Lyttleton the port for Christchurch – Dr Blake Campbell and his wife and her brother are staying at the same hotel so that we often see each other – the Captain too is here now and again. He showed me much kindness. Our parting greetings on board were very touching many of them –an elderly lady called Mrs Satchwell owned that she had never been blessed in her soul in all her life as during the voyage – she has been living for some years past at Athens and has come to N.Z. to live with a sister. Mrs Trelease was loved by all the passengers who admired her conduct I was privileged to read a letter she received from her intended husband at Hobart and it was very good – he could not come to meet her but sent his brother to whom I was introduced – several of the young men on board gave me very kind greetings and some of them hoped I would call upon them in visiting the towns in which they resided. Altogether it was a very interesting time and my comfort and joy is in knowing that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ was glorified in that ship and we are sure that it was well pleasing to God. The Lord continue His mercies to you my beloved Angee and be your comfort and stay continually – please give my very kind love to our dear boys, their dear wives and all the beloved children dear Martha & Minnie, Eunice & Eliza and all our dear friends and believe me with a sevenfold portion to your dear self.
Your very affectionate Husband